16 June 2017 — Friday


NOTE: I’m having a cataract operation today, so I won’t have a column on Saturday. Depending on what shape I’m in — and what the good doctor tells me I can or can’t do — it might show up late on Sunday, or very early Monday morning. Or maybe not at all. Ed

The gold price rallied quietly until 9:30 a.m. CST on their Thursday morning before being capped.  It was equally as quietly sold lower until at, or just after the 10:30 a.m. BST morning gold fix in London.  At that juncture, the sell-off quickened — and the low tick of the day was set shortly after the COMEX open in New York.  The gold price certainly tried to rally from that juncture, but you can tell by the saw-tooth price pattern that there was a willing short buyer/long seller that showed up every thirty minutes or so.  The New York high came at exactly 10:30 a.m. EDT — and the gold price wandered around in about a two dollar price range for the rest of the day.

The high and low ticks were reported as $1,268.50 and $1,252.70 in the August contract.

Gold finished the Thursday session at $1,253.70 spot, down $6.40 on the day — and almost exactly the same as its loss on Wednesday.  Net volume was very heavy once again at somewhere around 230,000 contracts.

And here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson once again.  There was a reasonable amount of volume in the small rally in morning trading in the Far East, but noon in Shanghai…22:00 Denver time on the chart below…the volume had pretty much petered out.  It picked up a bit again after a few hours — and after that, the volume never really went away until later in the afternoon trading session in New York.  But most of it was done by the 11:30 a.m. MDT COMEX close.

The vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and noon China Standard Time [CST] the following day in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EDT.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must.

Silver was allowed to break above $17 spot at 9:30 a.m. in Shanghai, but that was capped an turned lower in short order — and from there the silver price was lead lower in a similar manner as gold’s, with the low tick of the day set a minute or so after 8:30 a.m. in New York.  It rallied a bit after that, including a spike higher just before the London p.m. gold fix, but that was summarily dealt with as well.  The price didn’t do much after that.  And, like gold, silver was closed a new low for this move down.

The high and low ticks in silver reported by the CME Group as $17.065 and $16.62 in the July contract.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday afternoon at $16.73 spot, down 13.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was very heavy once again at around 73,500 — and roll-over/switch volume out of July was brisk.

And here’s the 5-minute tick chart from Brad as well.  As you can tell, the rally and subsequent sell-off in morning trading in the Far East didn’t have much substance to it — and there was also a bit of volume either side of the London open, which is 01:00 Denver time on the chart below.  Volume picked up again around the noon silver fix in London…05:00 MDT…and was back to background shortly after COMEX trading ceased.

Like for gold, the vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and noon China Standard Time [CST] the following day in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EDT.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must as well.

It was the same Ground Hog Day-type pattern for platinum as well — and the Kitco platinum chart is a reasonable facsimile of the silver chart.  Platinum was closed at $922 spot, down 12 dollars on the day.

And what happened to the palladium price was a mini version of what happened in the other three precious metals, at least until 9 a.m. in New York.  At that point it began to head higher, but obviously under considerable resistance — and closed very close to its high tick of the day.  Palladium finished the Thursday session at $863 spot, up 12 bucks from Wednesday.

The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 96.96 — and then chopped quietly sideways once trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening.  It began to edge higher starting around 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday afternoon — and really began to sail once trading started in London two hours later.  The 97.54 high tick was set at precisely 10:00 a.m. EDT…the London p.m. gold fix — and chopped quietly sideways for the remainder of the Thursday session.  The index finished the day at 97.47 — up 51 basis points on the day.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index.

The gold shares gapped down a percent and change at the open — and softened a bit more as the Thursday trading session moved along, but did manage to close off their respective low ticks by a bit.  The HUI closed down 1.34 percent.

The silver equities also gapped down a bit, but managed to collectively rally into positive territory just before 10 a.m. EDT.  Then they followed a price path almost identical to their golden brethren, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed lower by 1.63 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

And here’s the 6-month Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index chart as well.  Click to enlarge as well.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 336 gold and 10 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  In gold, the only short/issuer that mattered was HSBC USA with 320 contracts out of its client account.  JP Morgan stopped 192 for it client account — and in second and third spot were Scotiabank and International F.C. Stone with 97 and 26 contracts respectively…the former for its own account — and the latter for its client account.  In silver, the sole short/issuer was International F.C. Stone.  Citigroup picked up 8 — and Advantage, the other 2.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest in June fell by 369 contracts, leaving 1,204 left, minus the 336 mentioned just above.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 2 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 369-2=367 contracts disappeared from the June delivery month with having to either make, or take delivery.  Silver o.i. in June declined by 57 contracts, leaving 18 left, minus the 10 mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 67 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that another 67-57=10 ten silver contracts were added to June yesterday.

There was a small withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 38,048 troy ounces, which is way too large to be a fee payment.  There was a huge withdrawal from SLV, as an a.p. [most likely JPM] removed 3,405,319 troy ounces.  It’s a reasonable assumption to make that JP Morgan owns it all now.

And it was yet another day with no sales report from the U.S. Mint.

It was another day of all zeros in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.

There was very little activity in silver, as nothing was reported received — and only 1,960 troy ounces were shipped out.  I shan’t bother breaking this down by depository, or linking this activity.

There was considerably more activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday, as 5,942 kilobars were received, but only 134 were shipped out.  All of this ‘activity’ was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that is here.

I have an average number of stories for you today, although a couple of audio/videos run for a while…but you have the whole weekend in front of you.


Is the Fed ready to consider lifting its inflation target?

Years of tepid economic recovery have Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other central bankers considering what was once unthinkable: abandoning decades-long efforts to hold inflation down and allowing price expectations to creep up.

In remarks on Wednesday, Yellen called an emerging debate over raising global inflation targets “one of the most important questions facing monetary policy,” as central bankers grapple with an economic rut in which low growth, low interest rates and weak price and wage increases reinforce each other.

The aim would be a change of households’ and businesses’ psychology, convincing them that prices would rise fast enough in the future that they would be better off borrowing and spending more today.

Success in anchoring inflation in the 1980s and 1990s defined central banking throughout the developed world.

It has become a core aim of the Fed and an article of faith for Germany’s Bundesbank and later the European Central Bank, founded in 1998 with the mandate of maintaining price stability defined as inflation under 2 percent.

This interesting Reuters article, filed from Washington, was posted on their website at 7:31 p.m. on Thursday evening EDT — and it comes to us courtesy of Paul Fillion.  Another link to it is here.

If at first you don’t succeed, get it right the second time! — Dennis Miller

What if you discover you bought the wrong annuity? What if the projected income falls short of the estimates? Can you get out of the contract?

The response to our special report, Miller On The Money Annuity Guide was terrific. The most common response was readers wishing they had read the report years ago – before they bought their first annuity.

Many didn’t understand what they were buying. Some looked at annuities as investments, with monthly payouts based on stock market or index performance – and the hypothetical projections were never met. Regardless of the reason, what they bought was not living up to their expectations.

The underlying issue is keeping your retirement plan up to date. What happens when the best laid plan goes astray? How do you make adjustments to get back on track?

This commentary appeared on Dennis’s website on Thursday morning sometime — and another link to it is here.

James Grant Speaks with Demetri Kofinas: Interest Rates, the State of Markets, and the Future of Finance

This 58:50 minute audio interview with James Grant was sent our way by Judy Sturgis on Wednesday — and with all the other stuff that’s been going in my column for the last two days, this one just had to wait.

Judy said that the discussion turns to gold at the 39 minute mark — and so it does.  This interview put in an appearance on the hiddenforcespod.com Internet site probably recently, although it’s not datelined.  It’s definitely worth your time.

This Financial Atomic Bomb Is Hours Away — Nick Giambruno

You may recall the international spectacle Alan Greenspan sparked in 1996.

In an otherwise dull and forgettable speech, Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman at the time, said the now famous phrase “irrational exuberance.”  Investors thought Greenspan meant the Fed was about to raise interest rates.

Of course, Greenspan didn’t say the Fed would raise rates. Nor did he intend to signal that.  Nonetheless, investors quickly panicked.

U.S. markets were closed at the time, but stocks in Japan and Hong Kong dropped 3%. The German stock market fell 4%. When trading started in the US the next day, the market opened down 2%.  Billions of dollars of wealth vanished in 16 hours… all because one man said two words.

That’s an absurd amount of power for one person to have.

This worthwhile commentary by Nick Giambruno showed up on the internationalman.com Internet site a few days ago — and another link to it is here.

What Happens When the Machines Start Selling? — The death of fundamental analysis

The infamous FAANG stocks – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google’s parent Alphabet – along with other “tech” stocks have been getting “hammered,” to use a term that for now exaggerates their “plight.” The FAANG stocks are down between 1.7% and 2.5% at the moment and between 5.5% and 11% since their peak on June 8. Given how far these stocks have soared over the past few years, this selloff is just a barely visible dip.

But fundamental analysis has long been helpless in explaining the surge in stocks. The shares of Amazon now sport a Price-Earnings ratio of 180, when classic fundamental analyses might lose interest at a PE ratio of 18 for the profit-challenged growth company that has been around for over two decades. For them, the stock price might have to come down 90% before it makes sense.

Or Netflix, with a PE ratio of 195. Or companies like Tesla. Forget a PE ratio. There are no earnings. The company might never make any money. Its sales are so minuscule in the overall US automotive market that they get lost as a rounding error. It bought Elon Musk’s failing solar-panel company as a way to bail it out. And the battery-cell technology Tesla uses comes from Panasonic. So what should a company like this be worth? Fundamental analysis has been completely irrelevant: Tesla’s current stock price gives it a market capitalization of $61 billion.

So investors trying to sort through this mess by using fundamental analysis have been left in the dust years ago. Fundamentals no longer matter in this market. Valuations have been surgically removed from any sense of fundamental reality.

There are a lot of reasons for this, including the enormous amounts of liquidity in the markets, after the Fed, the ECB, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England, and the Swiss National Bank have created $11 trillion out of nothing since the onset of the Financial Crisis and used that money to buy $11 trillion of securities – in the SNB’s and BOJ’s case even common stocks. They now sit on $15 trillion in assets.

This worthwhile commentary appeared on the wolfstreet.com Internet site yesterday — and I thank Richard Saler for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Fake news? Nobody beats the western media — The Saker

I love the western Ziomedia.  Not for what they write, but for showing their true face.  Finally.  After decades of pretending like they have some high professional or ethical standards, after years and years of pseudo-objective reporting, these folks have finally dropped their masks and are showing their true face.  We already saw the hysterical, truly maniacal, hate campaign against Trump (and it ain’t over by a long shot) and we saw the breathtakingly dishonest demonization of Putin and anything Russian.  Well, I have a great example to illustrate this.

I feel sincerely sorry for the western reporters in Russia: their bosses are demanding signs of protests, of violence, even signs of a possible collapse of the “regime” in power (how about all those headlines about Putin feeling the “heat” from these protests?!).  But the Russian people just fail to deliver over and over again.  They show up in huge numbers for sport events, concerts, festivals, religious ceremonies, etc.  But not for the riots organized by the tiny CIA-run Russian “non-system opposition”.  Worse, for all the propaganda and economic warfare, Putin’s popularity is still somewhere in the usual 80%+ while the most respected institution in the country is the military.  Apparently Russians just don’t “get it”.

Anyway, in conclusion, a warning: the city of Moscow has decided to renovate a lot of the Khrushchev-era apartment buildings in the city.  Those who live there now will be relocated and compensated for their inevitable aggravation.  But some are not happy.  There have, and probably will, be more protests about this (just think of the value of the square meter of real estate anywhere in Moscow!).  There are also attempts to build a campaign to protest against corruption (still, alas, prevalent in Russia).  Again, demonstrations are likely.

Finally, just was the case with “Russia Day”, there are various dates this summer when the people of Moscow, and other Russian cities, will take to the streets.  Some of them will be marred by violent outbursts (such as the Day of the Airborne Forces – August 2nd – when ex-paratroopers like to drink and, sometimes act like asses which puts them on a collision course with the local cops).  The western media will present all of that like protests, riots, a “Russian Maidan” and any other imaginable nonsense.

So to save you the effort I make this pledge: if there are ever any *real* protests in Russia with some traction with the people or if there is *any* sign of a crisis or “regime change” in Russia, I will immediately inform you.

But if I am quiet and the western media is going ape shit again, just flush your mental toilet and enjoy your summer.

This commentary by the Saker was posted on his website on Tuesday sometime — and I thank Larry Galearis for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

Germany, Austria Slam U.S. Sanctions Against Russia

Germany and Austria voiced sharp criticism Thursday of the latest U.S. sanctions against Moscow, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas.

In a joint statement, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was important for Europe and the United States to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, where Russian-based separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.

However, we can’t accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies,” the two officials said, citing a section of the bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea.

Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall.

Gabriel and Kern accuse the U.S. of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They said the possibility of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project “introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations,” they said.

This AP story, filed from Berlin, was picked up by the usnews.com Internet site at 10:29 a.m. on Thursday morning EDT.  In turn it ended up in a Zero Hedge piece that Brad Robertson sent our way.  Another link to it is here.

Putin Offers Asylum to “Leaker” Comey

Vladimir Putin trolled the U.S. on Thursday, when speaking in a live call-in show with the Russian nation, the Russian president likened Comey to Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia in 2013, and scoffed at James Comey’s disclosure of his conversations with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying the move has made Comey eligible for political asylum in Russia.

It looks weird when the chief of a security agency records his conversation with the commander-in-chief and then hands it over to media via his friend,” Putin was quoted by Russia’s Tass. “This is strange. What is the difference then between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden? He is not a head of the special services, but a human rights activist.”

The trolling concluded when Putin said that “by the way, if he (Comey) is subject to any sort of persecution in connection with this, we will be ready to give him political asylum in Russia. And he should know about this.

Continuing the combative mood, Putin then turned the tables on the U.S., saying it was the U.S. which has sought to influence Russian elections by funding NGOs as part of its aspirations for global domination. “Turn a globe and point your finger anywhere, you will find American interests and interference there.”

And what about constant U.S. propaganda, constant U.S. support of America-oriented non-government organisations by giving them money directly? Isn’t it an impact on our minds? Isn’t it an attempt to influence how we should behave during election campaigns? This continues year after year,” he said.

He added that many heads of state around the world had told him of similar U.S. meddling in their internal affairs. But they would not voice their concerns openly, fearing to “spoil relations” with Washington.  As for Russia, “we have an opinion of our own, we express it openly. But this is not any sort of underground subversive activity“, Putin said.

This whole thing is beyond farce — and long past its ‘best before’ date.  However, Putin is not only making hay with it, he is getting more annoyed with the Deep State in the U.S. all the time.  This very interesting Zero Hedge piece showed up on their Internet site at 4:11 p.m. EDT yesterday afternoon — and it’s the second contribution in a row from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

10 Vladimir Putin classics from this year’s marathon Q & A

The marathon session clocked in at just under 4.5 hours!

Vladimir Putin has delivered yet another marathon Q & A session known as Direct Line with The President. For nearly four and a half hours, President Putin took questions from people across Russia and throughout the wider world about any and all topics. It happens every year and by now, President Putin is a seasoned pro.

This is the call-in show to which the preceding Zero Hedge story refers.  There’s also a link to the entire Q&A session as well, which runs for 4 hours and 26 minutes, but it really doesn’t get underway until the 26-minute mark, so if you want to listen to all or part of it, fast-forward to that time.  This news item put in an appearance on theduran.com Internet site around 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday — and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it along.  Another link to it is here.

Qatar buys F-15 fighter planes in billion-dollar U.S. deal

The sale was finalised at a meeting in Washington between U.S. defence chief Jim Mattis and his Qatari counterpart.

It comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Qatar – a major U.S. ally – of funding terrorism “at a very high level” – a charge Qatar denies.

Other Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, recently cut ties with Doha, accusing it of destabilising the region through its alleged support of extremist groups and links to Iran.

Qatar is home to the biggest U.S. air base in the Middle East, Al-Udeid. It houses around 10,000 troops and plays a key role in the U.S.-led operations against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq.

Mr Trump’s comments appeared at odds with the U.S. Department of Defence, which had praised Qatar’s “enduring commitment to regional security” just days earlier.  The deal comes just weeks after the U.S. agreed to sell the Saudis more than $100bn-worth of weapons.

Oh, the hypocrisy, dear reader!!!  It’s all about the Deep State’s desire to make billions by creating wars in far-off lands — and selling weapons to both sides.  This bbc.com story was posted on their Internet site yesterday morning sometime — but was subsequently updated later on Thursday evening.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for finding it for us — and another link to it is here.

Kyle Bass: “China’s Credit Bubble Metastasizing“, Still Short the Yuan

Hayman Capital’s Kyle Bass made a brief media appearance today, when he confirmed to Reuters that unlike some other “China tourist bears“, he remains staunchly negative on China, saying he is still short the Yuan because problems from China’s credit bubble are “metastasizing.”

Speaking to Reuters’ Jennifer Aboan, Bass said that “what the public narrative is and what they have been doing behind the scenes are two completely different stories,” and added that “China has been masterful controlling the public narrative. As a fiduciary, I have no idea how anyone can invest in China.”

Discussing his specific trades, Bass said Hayman’s yuan short is a “core” position and has “always been meaningful.” He also identified “fresh” warning signs that China’s credit problems are spreading.

First, Bass pointed to the yield on five-year MTNs, which are trading at 5%, exceeding the bank loan rate, about 4.75%, for the first time. We first highlighted this paradoxical “cross” one month ago when we observed that “rising base funding costs and interbank credit risk concerns have pushed banks’ cost of borrowing beyond the rate they charge customers for loans for the first time in history.

Bass then noted last month’s downgrade of China by Moody’s – the first since 1989 – which however did not have a material impact on China so far, aside from prompting a panicked response by Beijing which actually sent the Yuan surging as the PBOC engaged every trick in the book to prevent Yuan bears from gaining momentum, including the recent change in the Yuan fixing mechanism. Next, he discussed his concerns about China’s shadow-banking system and the country’s capital controls as “multi-nationals can’t get their money out.”

This Zero Hedge news item appeared on their Internet site at 7:13 p.m. EDT yesterday evening — and another link to it is here.

Jim Rickards | Amerigeddon Economic collapse will be on August 21, 2017

There some useful and updated information in here, but it’s mostly a retread of what he’s said before.  I listened to a bit of it, but certainly not all of it — and I would suspect that it ends in a bit of an infomercial.   It’s an audio only youtube.com video, as the video has already been pulled.

The fact that he puts a stake in the ground for August 21 is a bit of a surprise, although I never heard him say the words.  I’m neutral about this presentation, but leave it up to you if you want to listen to part of it, all of it…or none of it.

It runs for 1 hour and 54 minutes — and I thank Judy Sturgis for bringing it to our attention — and another link to it is here.

Getting high on cryptocurrencies

There are now four times as many cryptocurrencies in circulation as fiat currencies.

That’s amazing. And encouraging.

According to the Swiss Association for Standardization, which maintains the International Standards Organization database, there are 177 national currencies currently in use. That list generously includes four precious-metals and four bond-market units (codes XBA to XBD, for the curious).

The CoinMarketCap website lists 753 cryptocurrencies, all the way from Bitcoin and Ethereum down to StrongHands and Paccoin (current value: $0.00000014).

With a retired basketball star promoting one such incarnation — tied to marijuana — on a recent trip to a repressive Asian nation lying to the north of South Korea, I’m tempted to call Peak Crypto.

But let’s not kid ourselves: The madness is far from over. Bitcoin skeptics have been eating their words ever since the leading digital currency reached $1,000. January seems like such a long time ago now that Bitcoin is trading above $2,700.

This interesting news item was posted on the Bloomberg website at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday afternoon — and I found it in a GATA dispatch on Wednesday evening, but I just didn’t have room for it in yesterday’s column.  Another link to it is here.

Miners Drop as South Africa Escalates Black Ownership Rules

South African regulators unveiled a new mining charter to force companies to give more ownership to black shareholders, sparking a selloff across the industry.

Anglo American Plc and Sibanye Gold Ltd. shares tumbled after the Department of Mineral Resources introduced requirements that local companies must ensure 30 percent of their shareholders are black, up from a previous level of 26 percent. Several of South Africa’s biggest mining companies may have to sell new stakes, raising the risk of dilution for existing owners.

The new rules “could pull the rug right from under the industry’s feet,” said Andy Pfaff, chief investment officer of Vanguard Derivatives, a South Africa-based broker. “It’s certainly not going to help with attracting foreign investment into South Africa.”

The mining industry has become a major target of reform in South Africa, where highly paid, mainly white male executives oversee hundreds of thousands of mostly black workers laboring in some of the world’s deepest and most dangerous operations. The government’s updated rules for so-called black economic empowerment seek to reverse the imbalances.

Of course much higher precious metal prices would ease a lot of pain out there — and it remains to be seen if Jamie Dimon & Co. are ever going to release/or be allowed to release, their iron grip on them via the COMEX futures market.  This Bloomberg story appeared on the gata.org Internet site in the wee hours of Thursday morning — and another link to it is here.


I took these two photos yesterday on a brief trip to the old watering hole yesterday afternoon.  The first is female red-winged blackbird out gathering insects for here growing brood, which is in a nest near where I park my car.  The other is a female mallard with babies in tow.  The red reflection in the water is from a building in the background.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature really helps here.


“We are therefore in uncharted waters and it is impossible to predict the unintended consequences of very low interest rates with some 30% of global government debt at negative yields combined with quantitative easing on a massive scale.” ~ Lord Jacob Rothschild

Since I’m not sure if I’ll have a Saturday column or not at this point, here’s an organ work I posted some weeks back…but this one is transcribed for an electric guitar orchestra…if you can believe it.  I was totally blow away, as was Roy Stephens who sent it to me.  It’s your pop/rock classical ‘blasts from the past’ all rolled into one this week.

I can’t imagine the transcription/orchestration work that went into converting this from 18th century pipe organ music into music for a 21st century electric guitar orchestra.  But whoever did it was a genius — and the guys playing the guitars are certain no less.  It’s a must watch/listen — and the link is here.  It’s amazing — and the further you get into the piece, the more amazing it gets!  Full screen viewing is best.

It didn’t take long after Wednesday’s price action for JP Morgan et al to get back on track with their ‘salami slicing’ routine as they set new intraday lows and closing lows in both silver and gold on Thursday.   And, for the second day in a row, they closed gold below its 50-day moving average.  They don’t seem to be in a rush to flush all the Managed Money traders at the moment, taking just tiny slices every day.  At some point I’m expecting them to really punch gold to the downside, it’s just a matter of when.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper once again.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the gold price drifted quietly lower — and was down two bucks or so by 1:30 p.m. China Standard Time on their Friday afternoon. It has recovered almost all of that since then — and is down a dime at the moment. Silver didn’t do much during Far East trading — and managed to catch the same 1:30 p.m. CST bump in price that gold got — and it’s up 2 cents. Both platinum and palladium are trading virtually sideways, with the former down a dollar — and the latter up 2 bucks.

Net HFT gold volume is approaching 30,000 contracts — and that number in silver is almost 7,000 contracts, with decent roll-over/switch volume. It’s pretty quiet at the moment.

The dollar index is trading mostly sideways — and after being up a handful of basis points an hour ago, it’s now down 2 basis points as London opens.

Today, at 3:30 p.m. EDT we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report — and as I said earlier this week, I’m expecting a huge improvement in silver — and somewhat less in gold, as neither critical day moving average was taken out to the down-side during the reporting week.

In his mid-week commentary on Wednesday, Ted said that he’s expecting about a 20,000 contract improvement in gold — and hopefully the same [or more] in silver.  From his lips, to God’s ears, is all I have to say about that.  Obviously the market structure in both precious metals has improved even more since the Tuesday cut-off…particularly in gold.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:01 a.m. EDT, I note that the gold price is creeping higher at glacial speed — and is up 70 cents now that London has been open for business for an hour. The same can be said of silver, as it’s up 5 cents currently. Platinum is back at unchanged — and palladium is still up the same 2 bucks it was an hour ago.

Net HFT gold volume is now up to 34,500 contracts, which is only a small increase from when London opened — and that number in silver is just over 8,000 contracts, up only 1,000 contracts in the last hour. There’s nothing going on at the moment, but I doubt that this situation will last through the New York trading session.

The dollar index continues to do virtually nothing, but has rolled over a hair in the last few minutes — and is now down 8 basis points at the moment.

Today is supposed to be the final resolution of the GDX/GDXJ debacle — and the sooner that’s behind us, the better, so it could make for an interesting trading day in the precious metal equities when the markets open in New York at 9:30 a.m. EDT this morning.

I’m off to bed, as I have an appointment with the eye doctor this morning — and I hope I’ve recovered enough some time over the weekend to throw something together for you.  But with Sunday being Father’s Day, that might not happen.

Enjoy your weekend — and I’ll see you here as soon as I am able.


The post The Engineered Price Declines in Gold and Silver Continue Unabated appeared first on Ed Steer's Gold and Silver Digest.